Dog breeding is an awesome experience. However, there are important steps that needs to be done, from the time a proper mate is found up to the point when the dog gives birth.
Most professional dog breeders only breed if a pair is found to be healthy which ensures the birth of healthy puppies.
Ideally, the pair of dogs should be tested for every possible disease. Information regarding the pair’s ancestors and health records should also be on file. If there is no problem, then breeding can begin.
Usually, dogs come into heat every six months. With larger dogs, it’s every eight or ten months which usually lasts about three weeks. You will know when your dog is in heat if there is vaginal bleeding as well as swelling in the vulva.
A dog’s gestation period lasts between 60 to 67 days, with a dog giving birth after 63 days.
HOW TO KNOW FOR SURE THE DOG IS PREGNANT
After your dog has been bred, a blood test can be run by day 30 which will confirm that she’s actually pregnant. By day 30, you should start seeing signs of pregnancy, but these signs can be very misleading, because every dog that has a heat cycle, will go through a false pregnancy, every single time.
This simply has to do with the dog’s corpus luteum, not disappearing until about day 50, so dogs that go into heat, act like they’re pregnant, no matter what, for at least a month, or a month and a half. So at day 30 after breeding, it is best to take your dog to her vet.
Have a blood test run to confirm pregnancy. If you’re not sure at day 30, or if you don’t have time to take her at day 30, you can take her in at day 50 to 55 of gestation. Your vet can take x-rays and find out how many puppies are in and what size the puppies are.
Other signs that your dog might be pregnant, would be her abdomen gets swollen. Her appetite may decrease. Her activity level may decrease. She may get a little more sedentary. She also may get more needy, and be hanging out with you more, and not want to leave your side.
DOG CARE DURING PREGNANCY
Dogs tend to get a little bit anxious, and then as gestation progresses, they’ll start doing things like panting heavily, because their belly is so big and swollen, and pacing a lot, and just not being able to get comfortable, standing up and lying down.
The only way to determine the stage of the dog’s pregnancy is by keeping the track of time from the day of the breeding. Keeping a record of this on file is advisable for reference purposes.
The dog must be given a formulated and premium brand of dog food for the duration of the pregnancy and throughout the nursing period preferably with strong nutritional foundation.
During pregnancy, the mother’s food consumption will almost double compared to the pre-pregnancy level so increased feeding must be given to ensure that there is enough for both the dog and the puppies.
Later on, the expectant mother will search for a secure place to deliver the puppies. So, one must ensure that a proper place is ready when the time comes. An ideal place for an expecting mother is a box.
Depending on the size of the dog, it must be spacious enough for the dog to move around and must have layers of newspaper inside it that will absorb birthing fluids. This should also have low sides for the mother to look outside and for the breeder to easily check if assistance is needed to make it easy to remove soiled papers without interrupting the mother and the newborn puppies.